"Brain, shake out thy water, dog-like." -- Ron Padgett

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Love-Song of Jenny Lear by Jay Macpherson

Come along, my old king of the sea,
Don’t look so pathetic at me:
We’re off for a walk
And a horrid long talk
By the beautiful banks of the sea.

I’m not Arnold’s Margaret, the pearl
That gleamed and was lost in a whirl,
Who simpered in churches
And left him on porches,
But more of a hell of a girl.

Poor old fish, you’re no walker at all,
Can’t you spank up that elderly crawl?
I’ll teach you to hurdle,
Led on by my girdle,
With whalebone, elastic and all.

We’ll romp by the seashore, and when
You’ve enough, shut your eyes and count ten.
I’ll crunch down your bones,
Guts marrow and stones,
Then raise you up dancing again.


H Gif

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Speaking in Many Tongues

Marwa HelalPoem to be Read from Right to Left


Safia Elhillo: Quarantine with Abdelhalim Hafez

Video reading and explanation


Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, Safiya Sinclair, Layli Long Soldier

Jordan Abel: the Silhouette of a Pole on the shore of the Nass River


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Speaking in Many Tongues: Junot Diaz, Caroline Bergvall

Caroline Bergvall on "Seeing through Languages


Junot Diaz on unintelligibility: around 1'40"

"That as a writer you need a much stronger conceptualization of what readers mean and how readers function on the page. Readers are absolutely accustomed to massive unintelligibility. And without the reader workshop, they’re always saying, “Well, I don’t understand this.” Unintelligibility has always been attacked. Where unintelligibility is an absolutely normative condition of the experience of reading. And a lot of times, a bunch of the shit that we do, people are trying to lay it on some ethnic cultural crap. “Are you sure people are going to understand this? Are you positive that this isn’t too much?” For a reader, if they can make sense of sixty percent of what you write, that’s considered a win. The great joys of reading is that most of what you read escapes us and is only learned or approached through rereading and through contact with other readers. If you don’t have an interesting way of how audience works, you’re making about five times more work for yourself as a writer. Audience helps you shape an economy of signification, and the proliferation of some of these fantasies about how art works—and very unrigorous—it’s not helpful for anybody. The writer with an audience is a powerful artist and I think that’s what the best literature is. We’re overhearing comments that were directed to someone that doesn’t even exist anymore. And the very fact that someone was supposed to receive it charges the words with meaning, significance, and with libidinal energies. You know?"

Ocean Vuong, from "A Little Closer to the Edge."